Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You're paying for what??

You may remember a few years ago that there was a business downtown that sold air. Supposedly it was special air infused with healthy, aromatherapeutic properties, but it was still air. I myself buy bags of dirt every spring to add to my feeble garden. But the most ubiquitous of all elemental purchases has to be bottled water (and by 'elemental', I mean 'one of the 4 elements', not 'necessary'). According to the latest book on our shelves, sales of bottled water in the United States currently surpass every other drink except soda - in a country with the financial and technological means to provide clean drinking water to everyone.
Bottlemania: how water went on sale and why we bought it, by Elizabeth Royte, looks at the Developed World's weird obsession with bottled water. From the mineral springs of Evian - an actual town in France - to the Coca Cola product Dasani, Royte looks at the marketing behind bottled water and it's staggering rise in popularity. She also tackles such issues as the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of plastic bottles, the safety of municipal water supplies, water rights and the depletion of aquifers. A blend of environmental reporting, consumer analysis and corporate exposé, Bottlemania is an interesting read for anyone who has ever plunked down $2 for a bottle of tap water.

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